Announcing USF's Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs

Dear Members of the USF Community,
I am delighted to announce that Eileen Chia-Ching Fung has accepted my offer to become the university’s provost and vice president of academic affairs. Her appointment is effective today, March 6, 2024.  

In her interim role as our provost, Eileen has demonstrated her collaborative leadership, compelling academic vision, and depth of experience at USF, honed over 25 years of leading and serving our community in many roles across the university. 

This appointment comes with the enthusiastic support of my cabinet colleagues, who have partnered with Eileen since she took on the interim provost role in June of last year. There is also strong support from members of the Board of Trustees, especially those who sit on the Academic Affairs Committee. I received overwhelmingly positive feedback in recent weeks from faculty members, librarians, and staff in the Division of Academic Affairs who responded to my request to comment on Eileen’s leadership, vision, values, and commitment to USF’s Jesuit mission.

As our chief academic officer, Eileen will be a vital partner as we implement our strategic plan to advance USF’s academic distinction, strengthen our recruitment of undergraduate and graduate students from across the country and around the world, and work to stabilize our enrollments and address budget challenges. Her collaborative style, clear communication, and advocacy for an equitable, mission-driven, community-engaged, and student-centered education all support the foundational principles of a Jesuit education. I invite you to read more about Eileen’s experience and leadership at USF.   

When I asked Eileen what motivates her academic leadership, she said that, as a first-generation college student from a Chinese immigrant family, one of her greatest rewards is the opportunity to play a role in offering others the kinds of opportunities from which she has benefitted. 

When I asked Eileen what she thinks our education offers students, she replied that USF provides students with the skills to thrive in the 21st century, readies them for careers they enjoy, prepares them to engage meaningfully with the world, and nurtures the curious mindsets of lifelong learners. 

Eileen also told me that she is inspired every day by the resilience and care in our campus community and all the big and small ways that we lift up one another in support of our shared mission. USF is unique in this way, and she hopes that we can continue to collectively support the work for stabilization and sustained growth and to affect positive change for our university together.

Please join me in congratulating Eileen. I greatly look forward to working with her, and I thank all of you — students, faculty, librarians, and staff alike — for your collaboration, ideas, frank and open conversation, and hard work, which are critical to the success of our Jesuit educational project in the days, months, and years ahead. 

Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J.